Six Companies, One Mission
According to a new press release, Honda, BMW Motorrad, Harley-Davidson, Indian, Kawasaki, and Yamaha decided to team up to make a safety Justice League of sorts. The companies started the Safer Motorcycling Research Consortium, which was recently officially designated as a non-profit in Washington D.C.
The point of the consortium is to make motorcycling safer through research and collaboration with companies, organizations, and suppliers in the industry. The language used in the press release suggests to me that the motorcycle companies have their eye on safety technology.
The Safer Motorcycling Research Consortium is committed to increasing the safety of riders through the pursuit of meaningful pre-competitive research and advancement of modern traffic safety.
I know that’s super general language and could mean basically anything. Still, I see safety tech written all over this consortium. I think they all see tech as the way to make the motorcycle and the act of riding safer, which is not a bad thing by any means.
This is the same approach automakers currently take. They add safety tech to cars whether you really want it or not in the name of keeping everyone safer. The consortium will work with the government, too. You can bet some things will become government mandated at some point.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for advanced technology and safer motorcycles. However, when manufacturers include technology from the factory without a choice to the consumer, I get irked a little. You end up paying for the technology whether you want it or not.
I probably shouldn’t gripe. It’s initiatives like this that will keep motorcyclists on the road once self-driving cars become a real thing. Motorcycles will have to evolve as the world does, and this will help keep them on the road.